The week's winners
Atrium up 7.9%
Goshawk up 7%

The week's losers
Wellington down 7%
Marsh down 6.7%

Could the summer's top merger story, the marriage of Heath Lambert to Marsh, be off so soon?

The favourite topic of conversation in all the best City watering holes has taken a decidedly downbeat tone as tales spread that the deal may have hit the buffers.

After expectations hit a high several weeks ago, the mood has now swung towards a pessimistic view which the difficulties that troubled Heath Lambert's planned IPO last year could scupper plans for a quick exit by the broker's venture capital backers.

And to the surprise of some in the market, investors are relishing the chance to stick their necks out on Goshawk, the Lloyd's operation which issued a profits warning after admitting it was going to be hit by the collapse of failed ambulance-chaser, The Accident Group.

This column last week reported a bullish note from analysts at Numis - but noted their involvement in the company's strategic review, which includes finding possible buyers.

This week's surprise is that UBS Global Asset Management went out and bought 5.1 million shares, taking its total holding to 5.6 million, or 3.16%. The stock has so far stayed above 70p and, having bought when prices were in the low to mid 70s, UBS will be waiting for it to hit Numis's target of 100p a share.

Meanwhile Egg, the internet bank, has grown its insurance customer base by 44,000, taking its policy count to 125,000.

Phil Ashkuri, head of insurance claimed this as "excellent progress", as the bank did not undertake specific marketing during the period.